brian's soapbox
JUNE 2012



As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

- Lame Claims
- Stereo and Freeview Notes

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Please DON'T reproduce stuff from these pages without permission. And if you do, please give us credit (!! and a LIVE link. Cheers ! Bri

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**Mon 18 Jun 12**

Dear Folks

Thanks so much for your great responses to my new double-neck toy and triple-hand technique !

I'm glad you're still there ! And obviously paying attention ... ha ha !

Well … keep rockin' out there.



**Mon 18 Jun 12**

All Shadows fans (in which of course I include myself) - please check this out !


You Must be Hank Marvin - Mattessons Advert - YouTube


**Mon 18 Jun 12**

Rhys Thomas wrote:

Dear Brian

Found this on the internet and it made me laugh - happy days

Queen Greatest Video Hits II DVD [ High Definition ]

Ha ha ha ha ! I had forgotten that !

Definitely worth another look !

Thanks Rhys … the genius behind the ad !



**Mon 19 Jun 12**

- on being honoured with an OBE for his work in protecting endangered and suffering animals around the world.

We salute you, Will, and your wonderful Mum … founder of Born Free, Virginia McKenna.



**Mon 18 Jun 12**

OK !

First stereo pics of Queen and Adam Lambert et al in rehearsal.

OK - it's not glamorous in Wandsworth - but it's fun, and it is sounding pretty damn good ! Here you can see in depth what is going on.

Adam Nails it

Drummer Arty makes fine adjustments


Assistant Drummer Rufus Tiger is poised


New Boy Neil is basically cool


Spikey says it will be All Right on the Night. Ooh … is that a set list ?!


Meeting of the minds


And the new toy …

See you out there !

Cheers !


**Thu 14 Jun 12**

Can you do this?

Yes ! My friend Andrew Guyton has made another dream come true !


Now what can we use that for ?!! ha ha.



**Tue 12 Jun 12**

NOTE (14/06/12): There is now an Expert Postscript to the Risky Venus Transit stereo item.
(See below)

OK ! Maybe it was NOT quite the last Transit stereo.

This one is amusing! IT tells the WHOLE story, but when you see it in stereo, it might remind you of a bunch of flies in bottles!

Dr. Bri

Stereo suns

With Acknowledgments to NASA and Prof Greg Parker.


POSTSCRIPT - comment from an expert on these images, Michael Davis - many thanks, Michael.

I also asked him what the significance of the colours in the solar images was.

Greetings again, Dr. Bri, from sunny San Antonio!

The colors carry no scientific significance. They are just chosen to represent the different UV colors, and they are “easy on the eyes.” A different research group producing images in that bandpass would choose different colours.

The 171 Angstrom emission on the Sun tracks iron, while 304 Angstroms matches ionized helium. Both emissions are produced in the corona rather than the photosphere, so they are used to track coronal activity and flares. In fact, if you compare them with the visible images, the dark sunspots in the visible match the brighter emission spots in the UV.

The fact that the dark Venus "spot" is present in all images tells us it is an occulting body, and not a solar property. While that conclusion may appear obvious for this occultation, it is not so obvious when using the same techniques to measure occultations in other stars. If there is a drop in brightness in all wavelengths, you have an occultation. If the brightness only drops in the visible region, you are seeing "starspots" instead of a planetary occultation.

Anyway, hope that helps, and congrats on the RSPCA invitation!

Mike Davis

Michael Davis
Senior Research Scientist
Space Science & Engineering Division
Southwest Research Institute


**Mon 11 Jun 12**

This is not really a stereo … well, only if you are brave ! OK ?

Made from two images captured during the transit by SDO. The left one was taken using light in a narrow wavelength range, centred around 171 angstroms, and the right image is in light of wavelength 304 angstroms. An angstrom is one ten billionth of a metre. Both these wavelengths are actually in the Ultraviolet part of the spectrum, which is invisible to human eyes. So I'm not quite sure what these apparent colours mean ! In rough terms, by choosing different wavelengths to look at, we are seeing activity at different depths in the Sun's outer layers.

Last and Risky venus Transit Stereo

Yep, this is a pretty psychedelic stereo ! But when you get used to it, it's quite informative ... showing which parts of the structure of the Sun's surface show up at these wavelengths. And there is the black dot which is Venus, traversing the disc … for the last time this century.



**Mon 11 Jun 12**

Save-Me - in the shape of Anne Brummer and myself - were represented at many meetings in the last couple of weeks. A lot of this stuff is not really suitable for publishing, because the issues are sensitive, and there is no point in giving the 'enemy' (those who want to continue hurting or killing wild animals) ammunition.

But one meeting I can tell you about is our first encounter with the new boss of the RSPCA, at their amazing headquarters. The new CEO of the RSPCA is a man called Gavin Grant. It's hard to describe the emotions we felt meeting him … he's possibly the most highly informed and passionate advocate of animals I've ever met. In fact, the man is awesome. He has, in the short time since he became the new head of the organisation, completely galvanised it - and led it forth with great courage to the place many of us hoped the RSPCA would eventually occupy. As of now, the RSPCA has teeth.

Recognising that there is fundamentally no difference between a bunch of yobs setting their dogs on each other, or on a maimed and defenceless badger, and a bunch of toffs setting their dogs on a defenceless fox (by 'accident', of course), the newly reorganised RSPCA has set a course to fight ALL cruelty with equal vigour. The evidence they have accumulated is hard to watch. But it is huge in scope, and huge in its potential to change the face of animal welfare in the UK forever. And there is now the clear commitment - from an organisation which has been for some time regarded as slightly easy-going - to pursue this course to the highest level. It must, because the Countryside Alliance and the hunts will put vast resources into defending the alleged offenders, and, in the past, money has talked. All that is about to change. Save-Me is of course committed to ending blood-sports, and we will be continuing to work closely with the RSPCA as well as LACS, IFAW and others to this end.

But there was one more surprise to come. The RSPCA have asked me to become a Vice President. It will be a great honour.

More soon.

All the best


**Mon 11 Jun 12**

Check this out ! Our boy !

If anybody was in any doubt ….

Adam Lambert rocks !



**Thu 07 Jun 12**

Well, clouds prevented me, this time .. but I have happily pillaged some nice shots of the transit of Venus this week, and made a stereo impression of the event.

Please Free-view and tell me what you think ! How to Free-view OR use an OWL of course! (available HERE)

Transit of Venus - stereo

These images were made from data collected by the Orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory (with acknowledgments to Prof Greg Parker) which they kindly shared, live, with the world. During the time it took for Venus to make the complete transit, the Sun obligingly rotated just a few degrees in roughly the same plane. So I was able to make a true stereoscopically round Sun, with snapshots of Venus at various stages of its short and rare journey between our parent star and the Earth going across in front. The Sun is nicely active at the moment, so there is lots of Sunspot detail … always more convincing in stereo than in mono … because then you can be sure it's not spots on your screen!

Notice how much dimmer the Sun's 'surface' is at the edges than at the centre. This is because the Sun really is not a solid body at all, and has no real surface. It's a vast ball of glowing gases, and the top layers are semi-translucent. Looking straight into the middle, we are seeing many layers of light emission - at the edges we are not.

This wonderful Fusion generator of power is of course what gives life to everything on our little planet. And even the tiniest variations in its output can have catastrophic effects on all creatures in Earth, and all plant life too. Current research indicates that it was in fact small changes in the output of the Sun which led to the large climate changes that occurred on Earth in the past - and that Carbon Dioxide concentrations were actually not responsible, but merely followed on as a result of the change, and amplified an already existing effect.

However what is happening now is less certain. Certainly some rapid changes are taking place, but it's hard for scientists to agree on what the principal causes are, and what the eventual results will be. The only certainty is … change.

In the meantime ..

Enjoy !

Finally, this superb picture was taken by Jamie Cooper … just catching the end of the event, as the Sun rose, on the beach, near Sir Patrick Moore's house in Selsey. Spectacular !!

Transit of Venus

Cheers !



**Sat 02 Jun 12**

I decided to travel to Stroud today to support this meeting because, as Save-Me, we are currently campaigning against yet another proposed Badger Cull.

This Government, egged on by the militant end of the farming community, is clinging to the notion that killing badgers will eradicate the disease of Bovine TB in cows. Yet even they must be aware that, apart from being deeply a unjust, cruel and desperate course of action, it simply cannot work. The Randomised Badger Culling Trial slaughtered around twelve thousand badgers. It took ten years to complete at a cost to the tax payer of over fifty million pounds. The conclusion of the Independent Scientific Group who monitored the trial was crystal clear - "culling badgers can make no meaningful contribution to the control of bovine TB in cattle in Britain".

And yet, in spite of the fact that the Welsh Government has opted for vaccination - the only sustainable long-term solution to TB in badgers - Caroline Spelman, at present Minister for DEFRA, has authorised the killing of thousands of badgers in two so-called 'pilot culls' this Autumn. Most of the badgers, shot by marksmen at night, will be completely healthy - the killers will not even bother to find out whether they have TB or not. The best they can hope for, after all the slaughter, even according to their own highly optimistic guesses, is a paltry 12 to 16 per cent improvement over 9 years, in the incidence of the disease in cattle. The worst scenario is that the perturbation caused to badger families may make things much worse, especially to neighbouring farms, to which injured and socially displaced badgers may wander. We find it inconceivable that our government could give the go ahead for this DIY 'trial', in which it will be impossible to ascertain what percentage of badgers in any one area have been killed. This cull is inhumane, ill-conceived, scientifically bogus, and is certain, in the long term, to disappoint farmers. The only remaining motive can be a kind of vengeance, on animals who in fact are completely innocent.

I have come here today to hear Chris Cheeseman speak. One of the scientists who was involved in the RBCT. Chris is one of the world's foremost experts on Badgers and bovine TB. I am also here in support of the Badger Trust, who are currently preparing for their judicial review on the 25th and 26th June, challenging the legality of this policy.

I have also come to meet and support The Stroud 100 group of landowners, who are speaking today, and collectively control over 800 acres of land around Stroud. These landowners will not allow culling on their property. We hope that other enlightened farmers and landowners will follow this example, to prevent the culling of badgers.

The overwhelming majority of British people do not want this bloody solution. We call on the government to call off the deeply flawed culling plans, before it is too late.

David Cameron's self titled 'green' Government, intent on bringing back blood sports including fox hunting, is heading towards a nationwide cull of badgers, and has just this week authorised £375,000 of tax-payers' money to trap buzzards and trash their nests, only retracting after an outcry from the public. This was at the request of a handful of rich landowners who claimed that buzzards were damaging their business, but had no proof. So we are all now within a hair's breadth of subsiding the shooting industry, which already makes millions of pounds a year out of people who want to kill animals for fun. The final scandal is that Cameron and his ministers are intimately connected with these very businesses, though family and friends. It's yet another indication of the arrogance of this small group of professional politicians who, even now, think they have the power to ride rough-shod over the wishes of the British public on their 'control' of foxes and badgers.

There is a rising tide of outrage; we believe the Coalition Government must not be allowed to get away with any of this abuse of animals, so blatantly contrary to the wishes of the British Public.

Brian May - Save-Me.



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